The Counseling Program at Contra Costa High Schools

The College Wellness Program

The College Wellness Program serves two community colleges, Contra Costa College and Diablo Valley College. At Contra Costa College (CCC), we also serve two high schools that operate on its campus: Gateway to College and Middle College.

Gateway to College is an alternative high school supporting students in catching up on credits and improving their GPA. Middle College High School allows students to complete their high school education while simultaneously working towards the completion of an associate degree.

Most of our clients are adolescents and young adults. Many face histories of complex trauma or continuous traumatic stress and multiple kinds of oppression. We provide individual and group counseling, psychoeducational workshops, and crisis services to high school students, and consultations to school staff. We place great emphasis on community building, identifying community resources, and building and strengthening networks of support for our clients.

The training is rooted in an integrative, social justice perspective, with an emphasis on community building and close collaboration with high school and college staff. We utilize principles of Narrative Therapy and Attachment, Regulation and Competencies (ARC) Framework, and evidence based approach for treatment of trauma for children and adolescents. We pay attention to systemic issues impacting our students and focus on developing cultural responsiveness, accountability, and structural competency in our work. We question the dominant ideas of how psychology has been conducted historically, and strive towards a decolonial turn in our practice.

Our training program also provides comprehensive training on complex and developmental trauma, group facilitation, brief therapy, and working with adolescent and young adult population in college and school settings. We incorporate trauma informed principles throughout our training and focus on developing collaborative spaces for our trainees while working with them to develop self-care practices and address impacts of trauma exposure encountered in the work.

Social justice in counseling relationships is advanced through experiential learning in which student-counselors examine the social and cultural contexts that influence their lives and those of their clients in areas such as race, gender, ability, spirituality, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, and immigration status. Paying particular attention to resisting dominant, negative ideas about marginalized groups facilitates the development of a positive self-image for our clients. We incorporate advocacy into our work in collaboration with our clients.


This program is free to the high school students receiving services.

Program Director:
Daniela Kantorova, Psy.D.

Associate Director
Layli Khaghani, Psy.D.

Director of Clinical Services
Deanna van Ligten, Psy.D.